It was a colleague’s birthday and we were all invited to this all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant to celebrate her day! I have been living abroad for 10 years now and had never eaten Chinese so I thought it was a great idea to step out of my comfort zone (eating mostly African) and try out something new. By the way, the Chinese are known to eat healthy. They include lot’s of veggies and little processed foods in their diets. I was thrilled!!!
I conciously skipped lunch because I wanted to create space, because I knew it is an all-you-can-eat with takeaway possibility. On a sidenote, here’s a tip for you all fit and fabulous readers, please, I beg you, never go anywhere on an empty stomach EVER! It will ruin your diet and healthy lifestyle routine!
Anyways, we got to the restaurant – a pretty cool spot, well decorated and really inviting. There was a spot were small bowls kept turning, seemed like a merry-go round! The birthday girl explained that we could just pick a bowl, any bowl of sushi and eat till we drop! Can someone say Amen! I was E.X.C.I.T.E.D! Don’t blame me, it was my first time :). There were sushis of many colors, shapes and filling. I quickly reach for the red one because red is my favorite color.
To cut a long story short, I ended up in the bathroom room. Can I just say this? Not all foods are meant to be eaten raw! I’ll take fruits and veggies raw…ANYDAY but beef, fish, seafood? No thanks! Nothing against you my Chinese friends but your sushi is not my thing.
So I decided to make mine! I call it the Africanized sushi. We africans like it cooked, I mean well cooked, we like it hot and spicy, we like it savory. So here is my assorted peppered meat, fried beans, suya and vegetarian sushi. It’s easy. Cook assorted meat stew, fry or sautée bean or peas, prepare your suya and roll with any ingredient that you think of, creativity is required here but first here’s what you need to know about sushi and it’s making!
1. Sushi Rice
Sushi rice is essential for a great sushi recipe because of its flavor, texture and taste. For this recipes, I used sushi rice as well as whole wheat rice because it was a first try so I didn’t want to mess it all up by completely swapping the known ingredients that work well with the healthy but untested ingredients. Sushi rice is great because its grains stick together when cooked, so I wanted to achieve this with whole wheat rice, the reaon why I overcooked it to release the carbs and make it stick!
2. The Sauce
There’s no sushi without soy sauce. Though there are low salt altenatives, soy sauce is generally too salty for my tastebuds so I substituted with our typical African sauces. I made the hotsauce made from habanero and a typical Cameroonian sauce called “Mbongo” that mimicks soy sauce in color.
3. Nori sheets
Nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species. These are made into rollable sheets for sushi and can be found in any Chinese or Japanese shop. I used nori sheets for this recipe but I will replace them with plantain, sweet potato, or moi moi wraps (when I would have completely developed these wrap recipes 🙂 in the near future.
4. The Bamboo roller
Rolling sushi is easily done with a mat so you would want to get one. If you don’t here is a video that can help you roll your sushi without a bamboo roller and here’s how to roll sushi with a bamboo .
5. Chop sticksroller
Oh well I tried! Let’s just say I’m work in progress. For now I’m still using my fingers but you try your luck and learn how to use chop sticks here!
How I made my Africanized Sushi
I simply boiled both sushi rice and whole grain rice till overcooked. I boiled both seperately and I set aside. I added fresh sweet corn in one part of the whole grain rice and make curry coconut rice out of the other part.
I used an avocado, a carrot, a red bell pepper and a cucumber all sliced thinly.
b. Assorted peppered meats
I used different types of meat, boiled then with habanero, onions and african nutmeg till very well cooked.
Here I used a suya spice concuction and marinated fresh beef. I let it oven-grill till dry.
d. Fried beans.
I boiled kidney beans till soft and fried in onions, tomatoes, garlic, green herbs and habanero
Assemblying my sushi was all about creativity and what I wanted to have. I mixed suya with carrot spirals and some green beans, rolled assorted meats in whole grain rice with fresh corn, sushi rice was rolled with fried beans and then I had the vegetarian variation too. I highly recommend you play with this recipe, you would be astonished on how much we do with our African food. I hope you try it and let us know. Again, I purposefully do not provide a clear cut detailed ingredient list because I want to encourage you to be creative with your food. Use your own native sauces and make a great eat! Thank me in the comments area below!
Happy and healthy cooking xoxo